A couple of weeks ago, I came across a battered and water stained copy of the ‘The Gay Mystique’ a ground breaking book, published just a few years after the Stonewall riot. Jeff had picked it up years ago at a thrift store and it had lingered unread on our bookshelves. Reading the book is an eye opening experience for me, not just as a testament to how far we have come in the more than 40 years since, but also in how clearly the author has captured the issues that we are still facing today. Here is one of my favorite passages from the very end of the book:
“When a person comes out, the dam is burst. He can get in touch with all his emotions. He feels his loves more deeply, his pleasures more keenly, and his anger in a clean and honest form-he is no longer fighting himself. It feels good. It is a precious discovery. It shows. Look at the faces of liberated gay people. Look at their eyes, their smiles.
“Why do I suddenly feel like we are married?” Those were the first words out of my mouth once the bright California Sun had cleared some of the bank induced haze from my brain. The best of all husbands and I had been dating for just under a year and Jeff had popped the big question: “How do you feel about living together?”
“If you want this to go anywhere in the next half hour, we really need to pick up some speed here,” I mutter. I’m in bed with the best of all husbands, not quite dressed and not quite naked. We just got back from our weekly grocery run and have a bit of down time before we need to get ready for our dinner invitation. Jeff spent the morning playing with clay at the ceramic studio, though he likes to think of it as important creative work, and I caught up on some important paperbacks. So here we are with a sliver of time to ourselves, ready to do what a couple is supposed to do on a Sunday afternoon and it feels a lot more G-rated than triple-X.
Sunday evening. We are getting the house ready for our cleaning lady the next day. Can’t let her see what the place looks like after we spent the weekend at home. Jeff just finished washing the dishes and has stacked them on the counter. Now the strange thing happens. Instead of grabbing a dishtowel to help me dry, he grabs his book without a word and disappears upstairs to the bedroom.
I want to take more time to sort through my feelings and write a great piece that captures all that is bouncing around in my head and I want to post it now. So perhaps the polished prose will come later, today I’m just so happy with the ruling of the Supreme Court. Yes, we are all waiting for the day that marriage equality will be the rule of the entire land, not just 12 states. But just take a moment, 12 states! And the federal government now ready to recognize our unions at no less than.
For more than two centuries, our Nation has struggled to transform the ideals of liberty and equality from founding promise into lasting reality. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans and their allies have been hard at work on the next great chapter of that history — from the patrons of The Stonewall Inn who sparked a movement to service members who can finally be honest about who they love to brave young people who come out and speak out every day.
On May 29, 2013 Vincent Autin and Bruno Boileau became the first same-sex couple to marry in France. The two men exchanged vows in Montpellier. The ceremony was broadcast live on French TV.
Digging in the depth of our closet, I came across stories I wrote in my late teens and early twenties. I was struck by the tone of a “letter” I had typed about 25 years ago. I was struck by the loneliness that runs through the piece. Struck by the darkness of the place I wrote from. This was around the time my father died from cancer, when I was breaking up with my first and only girlfriend, and years before coming out. I wanted to be rescued then and had no idea that these walls can only be torn down from within. I really hope that, more than 25 years later, it is easier for young men to come out than it was for me then. And I’m glad that in then end I did rescue the little boy who wrote this letter, even if it took a long time.
Dear Mr. President,
I’m writing to thank you for taking an unambiguous stand in favor of same-sex marriage during your interview on Wednesday. I am a naturalized citizen, born and raised in Germany. I am a scientist, a gay man, and today even more proud to have chosen this country as my home.
Valentine’s Day! What’s the gay boy to do when he doesn’t want to send flowers to the girl he’s supposed to like and doesn’t dare to talk to the adorable guy he has such a crush on? Even decades after kindergarten, Valentine’s can bring misery to any gay man not properly coupled off. Here are some ideas on what to do.